Republicans seeking to upset soft-on-crime Democrats across the country in the midterms have often spoken of rising violent crime rates, but Sunday, the issue arrived at Rep. Lee Zeldin’s (R-NY) doorstep when two people were shot outside his Long Island home.
”I’m standing in front of crime scene tape in front of my own house,” the lawmaker expressed. “You can’t get me more outraged than I am right now.”
While the congressman seeking to unseat unelected incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in November was joined by his wife Diana at the Bronx Columbus Day Parade at Morris Park, his 16-year-old twin daughters, Arianna and Mikayla were at home when gunfire erupted outside the Shirley, New York residence in Suffolk County.
”After my daughters heard the gunshots and the screaming,” Zeldin explained in a statement released a few hours after the incident, “they ran upstairs, locked themselves in the bathroom and immediately called 911. They acted very swiftly and smartly every step of the way and Diana and I are extremely proud of them.”
Thank you to all who reached out regarding the 2 people shot this afternoon outside my home. Mikayla and Arianna were at the kitchen table doing homework. One of the bullets landed just 30 ft away. They acted very swiftly and smartly and Diana and I are extremely proud of them. pic.twitter.com/7oo6IwhTf5
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) October 9, 2022
”The two individuals who were shot were laying down under my front porch and the bushes in front of our porch,” he went on. “My understanding is that they have been transported to area hospitals. I do not know their identities.”
Members of the Suffolk County Police Department detailed that both victims were 17 years old and that while one was shot in the chest and the other was grazed on the arm, their wounds were said to not be life-threatening.
While there was no reported connection between the shooting and the Zeldin family, sources within law enforcement told the New York Post that the victims had been “involved with car thefts” in the past and were “known to the department.” Police had also detailed that a third teenager had accompanied the two victims, but fled the scene after a dark-colored SUV was said to engage in a drive-by shooting.
”My daughters are shaken,” the congressman’s statement continued, “but OK. Like so many New Yorkers, crime has literally made its way to our front door. My family is grateful to all who have reached out and we will provide another update when we can.”
Zeldin reiterated those remarks when giving a separate statement and added, “My family is grateful to all who have reached out and we will provide another update when we can.”
Hochul, whom the congressman has repeatedly called out for “pandering to pro-criminal allies” and suggested she “can’t confront this head-on because she hasn’t actually been doing anything about,” it reacted with a statement on social media.
”I’ve been briefed on the shooting outside of Congressman Zeldin’s home. As we await more details,” she wrote, “I’m relieved to hear the Zeldin family is safe and grateful for law enforcement’s quick response.”
I’ve been briefed on the shooting outside of Congressman Zeldin’s home. As we await more details, I’m relieved to hear the Zeldin family is safe and grateful for law enforcement's quick response.
— Kathy Hochul (@KathyHochul) October 9, 2022
However, as violent crime has plagued the New York metropolitan area, this isn’t even the first time that Zeldin has encountered the problem head-on. As reported in July, while the congressman was speaking at a campaign rally in Fairport, N.Y. near Rochester, a 43-year-old suspect allegedly attempted to assault him with a dangerous weapon. Though initially set free by a New York prosecutor, the man was later charged federally.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 24, 2022
Zeldin had tweeted, “The US Atty arrested the person who tried stabbing me at our campaign rally. Grateful they came in to do what NY’s broken pro-criminal justice system could not – uphold the rule of law. Cashless bail must be repealed & judges need discretion to set cash bail on far more crimes.”
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